Pleasant Surprises Beat All

Today my Wednesday’s Guest is Terry Korth Fischer, an author and also the Education Director for S&H Publishing. She is here today to share some information about the webinar series that S&H has launched. I forgot to ask her what refreshments she might like, but since she lives in Houston and it is still pretty warm there, maybe some iced tea will be refreshing. Help yourself to a glass as well. I have more.




meHi. Terry here, waving to everyone from Houston, and I want to thank Maryann for hosting me and serving the tea. It is refreshing.

I was in Indianapolis last weekend to attend Magnum cum Murder, a gathering of mystery writers. Unhappy that I’d registered too late to secure a room at the host hotel, I found lodgings four city-blocks away.

The first session came early Friday morning and I set off on foot. The crisp fall air a welcome relief after the Texas summer; I crossed streets well ahead of the “little man walking” indicator, eager for a day of lecture and hob-nobbing. Pigeons cooed, traffic rumbled on an unseen over-pass, and the city greeted me with a lingering reminder that soon too many bodies would cram into too small a space.

Dawn glowed beyond Monument Circle and I rounded the last corner to run directly; fall actually, into a ribbon of yellow crime scene tape.


The setting was perfect. The mood for a great mystery writer’s conference was set. Later, I learned that a water main had broken during the night and the police were merely diverting traffic. Luckily, the yellow tape cordoned-off a flooded Starbucks—not a DEAD BODY.

logo-short-help-tinyA similar kind of surprise awaited me when I signed on as Education Director for S&H Publishing.

Pleased at the opportunity to assist a small publisher in the development of a twelve-part training program for writers on writing, I stumbled into a delightful world of accomplished authors eager to pass-it-on to fledgling and seasoned writers alike. As the program took shape we collected twelve authors and prepared twelve forty-five minute presentations on elements in writing; Short & Helpful came to life.


Little did I realize the generosity of these authors, nor the talent. They come from the East and West coasts, as far away as Australia, and three from the grand state of Texas. They write in Horror, Mystery, Memoir, and Fantasy, among other genre. They are editors, entrepreneurs, and mentors.

June 2017 the presenter is our very own, Maryann Miller.

More than one workshop is led by an author who also holds a PhD, and all are accessible and willing to work one-on-one with writers with any level of expertise.

Where could I, socked away in an overstuffed, spare bedroom-turned-writing-den, slogging away on a novel while wearing a nubby sixteen-year old bathrobe, gain access to twelve established artists of this caliber?

The Short & Helpful online writing workshops surprises didn’t stop after the presenters came on-board. Soon writers were registering for the workshops, doing the exercises, and responding to the lessons.

In a fit of over-eager enthusiasm, I organized a write-in for the Short & Helpful members in my area. They came with their lap-tops, their Big Chief tablets, their hopes, their imaginations.

Surprise! They’d learned the lessons from the Premise Workshop, presented by Catherine Jordan, and were calling her Cathy. They sat eagerly awaiting the Workshop on Voice & Point-of-View, presented by Elena Hartwell and giggled with anticipation because Elena had sent each a personal welcome.

Members of the Clear Lake Area Writers, Jo (L) and Ann are enjoying the write-in.

During the write-in we shared written samples prepared at home and then our in-workshop exercises. The room rippled with ingenuity as if a pixie had sprinkled creativity dust over the library. We were alive with inspiration. The writing vibrated. After only two lessons, we had confidence. We became part of a larger community… We were writers!

Short & Helpful may not be for every writer, but in this day and age of instant gratification, where every hard-earned dollar needs to transform into an immediate gain, I can think of no better way to invest in a successful writing future. I urge you to register for the November Voice & Point-of-View workshop. Then register for the Setting & Description workshop that I will present in December. And because the Short & Helpful workshops rotate throughout the year, it’s never too late to begin the entire twelve workshop course.

I’ve had my surprises, but I’m on the lookout for more.


Sign up for the workshops HERE

Find out more about S&H Publishing and the call for submissions for a new anthology HERE


Terry Korth Fischer lives in Houston where she writes short stories and mystery. She is the Education Director for S&H Publishing, Inc, Purcellville, VA, a member of Sisters in Crime International, Pennwriters, Inc. and the Clear Lake Area Writers. She edits and publishes the annual anthology for her writer’s group and leads writing workshops at the Harris County Freeman Library. Her short stories have appeared in numerous print anthologies and online magazines. Contact her at:


Are you a writer? Do you think you have learned all you need to learn about the craft? After more than 30 years in the business, I foolishly thought I had. I don’t think we ever stop learning. Do you?

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